What is the Driving Age in Pennsylvania?

You must be at least 16 years old to start the Graduated Drivers License program in Pennsylvania. You may receive your unrestricted license when you’re 18 years old.
Written by Sarah Williams
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
uses the Graduated Drivers License program (GDL) to help
keep teen drivers safe
. You can start the program at 16 years old, and if you follow the mandatory steps, you could have your unrestricted
driver’s license
when you’re 18. 

What is the driving age in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, the minimum driving age is 16 for a Graduated Drivers License. Drivers can’t apply for a standard unrestricted driver’s license until they are 18 years old. 
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings

What is the Graduated Drivers License program in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania uses the Graduated Drivers License program (GDL) to help prevent car accidents among teen drivers. The unfortunate reality is that motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death among teens in America, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
With the GDL program, young drivers can gain driving experience before hitting the road with full driving privileges. In Pennsylvania, the program includes three stages:
  • Junior Learner’s Permit: Supervised daytime driving
  • Junior Driver’s License: Limited unsupervised daytime driving
  • Regular Driver’s License: Unrestricted standard driver’s license

How to get your Junior Learner’s Permit in Pennsylvania 

In Pennsylvania, once you turn 16 years old, you can apply for a Junior Learner’s Permit. You’ll need to visit your local PennDOT office to take a knowledge test and vision screening. While you’re there, pick up a copy of the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual to help you study for your written exam. You can also use the
online version
Once you’re ready, make sure to bring the following materials with you to the PennDOT office: 
Once you receive your learner’s permit, it will be valid for a year. If the end of the year rolls around and you don’t feel prepared for your driver’s exam, you can ask for an extension. It’s recommended that you schedule your driver’s test when you get your permit so that the PennDOT can print it on the back of your permit.

Junior Learner’s Permit restrictions

With a Junior Learner’s Permit, you have to abide by the following restrictions:
  • You must drive with an adult (21 years+ or a parent/guardian 18 years+ with a license) in the vehicle with you
  • You are not allowed to drive between 11 pm and 5 am (exceptions are available for work or charity)
  • You can’t have more passengers than seatbelts in the car

How to get your Junior Driver’s License in Pennsylvania

Once you’ve had your Junior Learner’s Permit for at least six months, it’s time to apply for a Junior Driver’s License! You’ll need a signed Certificate of Completion stating you’ve finished your 65 hours of driving practice. Of those 65 hours, ten should be at night and five in bad weather. 
Schedule your appointment at your local PennDOT
or by calling (800)-423-5542. You’ll need to bring:
  • A completed Parent/Guardian Certification form
  • Registration and proof of insurance for the car you’re driving
  • Your supervising driver’s driver's license
Key Takeaway Remember to bring your Parent/Guardian Certification form, the vehicle’s registration and proof of insurance, and your supervising driver’s driver’s license to your appointment. 

Junior Driver’s License restrictions

Even with a Junior’s Driver’s License, you still have to abide by certain restrictions. You still won’t be able to drive between 11 pm and 5 am without paperwork exempting you for school or charity reasons. You also still need to limit your number of passengers to the number of seatbelts—and all passengers must be wearing their seatbelts at all times. 
For the first six months, you can’t drive more than one underaged passenger (who isn't your immediate family) without a parent or guardian in the car. If you maintain a clean record, you can drive up to three passengers under 18 years old after six months. 

How to get your Senior Driver’s License in Pennsylvania

You’ve finally made it! Now that you’re 17 and a half years old, you’re ready to get your Senior Driver’s License. First, you’ll have to finish a driver's
education course
and have the following:
  • No driving violations in the last year
  • No at-fault accidents in the previous year
  • Your Junior Driver’s License for at least one year
  • The approval of your parent, guardian, or spouse
Once you’ve met all of these requirements, congratulations! You’re ready to receive your Senior Driver’s License and become a fully licensed Pennsylvania driver. 

How to save on car insurance in Pennsylvania

Calling all parents: Don’t forget to
add your teen driver to your car insurance
! Not sure where to start? Don’t worry—download the
app, and you’ll be scrolling through the best deals in no time!
All you have to do is enter your basic information, and in less than 45 seconds, Jerry will provide you with a list of custom quotes from over 55 of the nation’s top
car insurance companies
. Once you pick the plan for you, Jerry will get to work setting you up with your new plan—and will even help you cancel your old one. 
When it’s time to renew your policy, Jerry will automatically send you a new list of quotes so you never end up overpaying. The average Jerry user saves over $800 a year on car insurance! 
“I’m young and just got my first car, so choosing an insurance company for the first time was scary. My friend recommended this app to me and
made everything simple! I put in my info and got something more affordable than what I expected for my age!” —Leslie T.
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings


Yes, in Pennsylvania, you can apply for your Junior Learning Permit once you turn 16. You’ll need to pass a vision test and a knowledge exam. You’ll also need to submit a Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application form and a Parent or Guardian Consent Form.
Yes, you can even drive by yourself at 16 ½ if you receive your Junior Driver’s License after six months with your Junior Learning Permit. You’ll need to submit a form outlining that you’ve completed your 65 hours of practice driving along with a Parent/Guardian Consent Form.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings